Friday, May 30, 2014


The Ultimate Brownie Sundae recipe 

Chocolate has the incredible ability to stand alone quite nicely while playing along with loads of other prominent ingredients—without being a bully. And that is why a brownie sundae can be so frustrating: How can you settle on one ice cream flavor or a single sauce?
We figured Father's Day is the right time to have a brownie sundae your way. Dads have soft spots for cuteness, so serving up a brownie raft supporting mini-scoops of three different ice creams adrift in three different sauces will tickle him to no end. Feel free to use whatever ice cream flavors are the family favorites. 

  • Special equipment:A small (1 3/4- to 1 1/2-inch-wide) ice cream scoop (optional)


Put brownie strips on each of 6 plates and top with small scoops (or curls) of vanilla, chocolate, and coffee ice cream, arranged side by side. Spoon your sauce of choice over each scoop of ice cream.



    A sport for all times, the Calcio Storico or traditional football played in costume, in Florence, Italy, dates back to the 15th century. Woven with Italian brain, brawn and passion, the Calcio Storico was played by the aristocratic young noble men in front of the Basilica of Santa Croce and some times in the areas of Via Il Prato, Piazza della Signoria or Piazza Santa Maria Novella in celebration of the Feast of St. John. Held every year on June 24th, the awesome pageant of the Calcio Storico takes you to its ancient origins where ‘calcio in costume’ or ‘costume football’ was played for over 500 years.

The playing field

    With traditional districts to identify each of the four teams, the Calcio Storico, ‘calcio livrea’ or ‘football in livery’, colors the spirited pageant with the teams dressed in different colors, blue for St. Croce, red for St. Maria Novella, white for St. Spirito and green for St. Giovanni. Stimulating and involving body, mind and soul, the bloody and violent sport of the Calcio Storico stunned even the armies of Charles V, who had come to re-install the Medici government with the sound of firearms and the cannon tearing through the air. The Florentines continued their game as if nothing had happened as His Royal Majesty and his Imperial army stared in utter shock at the Renaissance costumed players as they proudly upheld their traditional game.

    Written by Count Giovanni de’Bardi di Vernio in 1580 in his ‘Treatise on Football’, the Calcio Storico has 54 players divided into two teams which are lined up in three rows.
    Though there are no major rules in this game, the final result has to end in a ‘caccia’ or goal. Each end of the opposite walls has a four-foot wooden wall that runs its entire length. The round red and white ball is tossed over the wooden wall which denotes a ‘caccia’ or a goal. In the center of each goal wall a narrow white tent with red trimmings and a red flag guards its goal while the captain of the team with the flag

Some of the pagentry

bearer stand with the respective team’s flag near the tent. The color of the balls and the tents vary according to the designated teams who are playing the match. Each year it varies and the finalists play the last match which decides the winner for that year. The game resembles Greco-Roman wrestling simulating the movements and motions with a mixture of rugby and soccer. The color of the balls and the tents vary according to the designated teams who are playing the match. The game itself is said to originate from an ancient Roman ball sport, which became the sport of princes and noblemen in the golden age of the Tuscan capital.

    With sand layering the entire square, the players run with the ball in their hands and pass it to their team mates. As they run, the opponent team tries to stop the player and pin them down till they are rescued by their own team players. This often results in their costumes being torn to bits and the players bloodied up but not too severely. There are six referees positioned at various points dressed in colorful Renaissance outfit of smooth velvet caps with ostrich feathers and a doublet of rich shades with knickerbockers. The referee judge with a sword has a plumed hat that he sweeps with a flourish to acknowledge change of sides. The goal scored by the winning team spurs the standard bearer to run around the square waving the team’s flag, whilst the losing

team’s standard bearer looks down-faced. Before each game is played, a long and solemn procession starts from Piazza Santa Maria Novella at 4 p.m., and winds through Via de’Banchi into Via Rondinelli to Via Tornabuoni going through Via Strozzi, around Piazza della Republica and into Via degli Speziali and up the winding Via Calzaiuoli to the picturesque Piazza della Signora right to Via della Ninna and finally through Via de’Neri till it reaches Borgo Santa Croce with much fanfare and trumpets.
Horsemen follow with foot soldiers in armor or the ‘alabardieri’, completely suited with the ancient Florentine helmets of iron and corsalets of leather. Twenty drummers perform in sync, wearing dashing yellow and blue silk tunics with the famous crimson

lily of Florence emblazoned on their drums as a symbol of freedom and peace. The Ball Bearer carries the ball with the colors of the chosen teams followed by twenty six infantry men in colorful uniforms with feathers in their caps. A young heifer bedecked with garlands being the traditional prize of the winners is led by two oxen drivers who are dressed in white smocks with leather vests with enthusiastic shouts of ‘Viva Fiorenza!’ echoing around. A presenter announces the members of the aristocratic

families who are followed by the gonalfiers, the keepers of the four ancient city quarters of Santa Croce, Santo Spirito, Santa Maria Novella and San Giovanni. Then the representatives of the old corporations, the musicians, the flag bearers, the mace carriers, the referees and the players in their beautiful Renaissance attire walk with the parade. This fantastic pageant was a traditional festival it was stopped for a period in 1739 by the Grand Dukes of Lorraine, but was re-started in 1930 by the Fascist Government. The historical game of the Calcio Storico follows its traditional rules with the Santa Croce area having the Blues or the Azzuri, San Giovanni with the Greens or the Verdi, Santa Maria Novella with the Reds or the Rossi and Santo Spirito with the whites or the Bianchi. The game does not allow anyone with a criminal record to participate in it. Over 500 dignitaries that include military officers, politicians, bankers,

judges, nobility and rich merchants walk behind the parade in their bright and rich Renaissance costumes. The flag bearers in their costumes of short tunics and soft leather boots with tights carry sixteen flags with different symbols. The sound of the cannon heralds the bandierai who perform awesome acrobatics with their sticks as the parade retires to their respective seats. Following the semi-finals, the final match takes place on 24 June and winners are rewarded with a mass of steaks equivalent in weight to the more traditional prize of a white calf or bistecca fiorentina, which was historically butchered for the occasion, and then there are fireworks after all of the other festivities have ended.


   Creating a spring or summer décor is simple – just use something green – plants, flowers or create pieces like these for decoration – pea and moss balls. The supplies are: Mod Podge in matte, green acrylic paint, one package of six smooth foam balls, a bag of green moss, and a bag of dried split peas. First paint the balls with acrylic paint and let dry. Paint Mod Podge and press the pieces of moss or the peas to the ball. When gluing moss, do it half by half, when gluing peas, take smaller sections and wait for 5 minutes to let the peas grip. Now you can arrange these balls into some bowls or baskets and decorate any place with this light summer touch.

Monday, May 26, 2014


Fallen Chocolate Cake recipe

The late Richard Sax, celebrated cookbook author and champion of home cooks the world over, inspired this flourless chocolate cake—a riff on his iconic chocolate cloud cake.


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1" pieces, plus more, room temperature, for pan
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided, plus more for pan
  • 10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (61%-72% cacao), coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • Special equipment:A 9"-diameter springform pan


For cake: 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter springform pan and dust with sugar, tapping out any excess.
Combine chocolate, oil, and 1/2 cup butter in a large heatproof bowl. Set over a saucepan of simmering water and heat, stirring often, until melted. Remove bowl from saucepan.
Separate 4 eggs, placing whites and yolks in separate medium bowls. Add cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, 1/4 cup sugar, and remaining 2 eggs to bowl with yolks and whisk until mixture is smooth. Gradually whisk yolk mixture into chocolate mixture, blending well.
Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat egg whites until frothy. With mixer running, gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar; beat until firm peaks form.
Gently fold egg whites into chocolate mixture in 2 additions, folding just until incorporated between additions. Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
Bake until top is puffed and starting to crack and cake is pulling away from edge of pan, 35-45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cake cool completely in pan (cake will collapse in the center and crack further as it cools). DO AHEAD: Cake can be made 1 day ahead. Cover in pan and store airtight at room temperature.
For topping:

Using an electric mixer on mediumhigh speed, beat cream, mascarpone, and powdered sugar in a medium bowl until soft peaks form.
Remove sides of springform pan from cake. Mound whipped cream mixture in center of cake.


    Is it called Memorial Day or Decoration Day?     Many people, especially those in the south, ask themselves this question every year. Compounding the confusion is the fact that both celebrations are often held on the same weekend in May. Most of us have participated in Memorial Day celebrations. I've had the experience of participating in several Decoration Day celebrations as well.
According to History.com Memorial Day was first celebrated as Decoration Day. This day first happened officially a few years after the Civil Warn ended on May 30, 1868.

    General John Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic is widely credited for the original proclamation. This held great importance even though the Grand Army of the Republic was a group of former soldiers and sailors and not a governmental organization.

   Richard Nixon officially declared Memorial Day to be a federal holiday in 1971. It is held on the last Monday in May as a remembrance of those brave men and women who died in war. Traditionally, a wreath is placed in Arlington Cemetery as a way of memorializing those who died. 

    Decoration Day had similar beginnings and is in fact the tradition that gave birth to Memorial Day. Even today it is celebrated by many small churches in the south. It began as a way to honor Civil War dead but soon became a time to put flowers or other decorative items on the graves of all the dead.

    Southern churches are famous for having cemeteries on the same land as the church itself. Sometimes, a driveway will separate the two sections but not always. It is very common for the cemetery to be adjacent to the church.
Decoration Day is usually celebrated on the last Sunday in May. Often, this is combined with a church homecoming celebration possibly all day preaching and dinner on the grounds. This is different from a Memorial Day celebration where only the graves of soldiers are decorated.

    Church members will go to great lengths to be sure that all graves are decorated and cleaned. There may not be any living family members for a particular plot but there will be flowers on the grave.
    It is said that "cleanliness is next to Godliness". This is where the church literally shines. Headstones will be scrubbed and cleaned until they shine like new pennies. All debris is removed from the cemetery. The grass will be cut, weeds pulled and all of the cemetery grounds will be trimmed.

    Only then is the cemetery ready for the flowers to be placed. On Decoration day each grave will be decorated to the one hundred flowers stuck in the dirt on any given grave. You may see pots of live flowers, expensive floral arrangements or hand picked bouquets. The graves may also have photos or other mementos placed upon them.
    The commitment to honoring the dead isn't just made in flowers. On Decoration Day, many southern churches will collect monetary donations as people come to tend their plots. These funds go toward cemetery upkeep and play an important role in the continued maintenance of the cemetery.
    Even though the two special occasions occur on the same weekend and share common beginnings the two days are not the same. As more people celebrate Memorial Day fewer are left to celebrate or even understand Decoration Day.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Mardi Gras: Moon Pies

For a Southerner, a MoonPie is the perfect accompaniment to a Royal Crown Cola. This graham cracker cookie and marshmallow sandwich covered in chocolate has been around for nearly 100 years (the trademark was registered in 1919), and they're still made by the Chattanooga Bakery in Tennessee, the bakery that first produced them. But among the crowds flocking to the Gulf Coast during Carnival, the MoonPie is mostly known for being a Mardi Gras throw (one of the things tossed from parading groups on Fat Tuesday). Children and adults alike clamor for the individually wrapped banana- and chocolate-flavored pies, which help tide the spectators over as the floats roll by.

In Mobile, Alabama, home to America's first Mardi Gras celebrations, MoonPies have become so synonymous with the city and Carnival, that local officials now drop a neon MoonPie from a local office tower on New Year's Eve.

Moonpies are traditionally thrown from Mardi Gras floats in New Orleans, and Mobile, Alabama, but with this easy recipe you can make your own chocolate-dipped graham cracker and marshmallow treats to enjoy at home—no parade or crowds required.


For the marshmallow layer:
  • Vegetable oil for brushing pan
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted, plus more for dusting marshmallows
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons powdered unflavored gelatin (from 2 to 3 envelopes)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the graham crackers:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Steen's cane syrup or dark molasses
  • 1 tablespoon honey
For the chocolate coating:
  • 1 pound semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • Nonstick vegetable-oil spray
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, at room temperature
  • Equipment:Pastry brush, 15- by 10-inch jelly roll pan, fine-mesh sieve, stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and paddle, candy thermometer, small offset spatula, 3-inch round cookie cutter, 2 1/2- to 2 3/4-inch round cookie cutter, parchment paper, rolling pin, 2 large rimmed baking sheets


Make the marshmallows: 

Brush the bottom and sides of a 15- by 10-inch jelly roll pan with vegetable oil. Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the bottom and sides of the pan with 1/4 cup of the sifted confectioners' sugar, leaving any excess in the pan.
Place 6 tablespoons of the cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle the gelatin into the bowl and whisk briefly to make sure all the gelatin is in contact with water. Let soften while you make the sugar syrup.
In a heavy, small saucepan, whisk together the granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and the remaining 6 tablespoons cold water. Place over moderate heat and bring to a full boil (the mixture will become clear), stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Put a candy thermometer into the boiling sugar syrup and continue boiling, without stirring, for 5 minutes, then increase the heat to moderately high and continue boiling, without stirring, until the thermometer registers 240°F (soft-ball stage), about 5 more minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let stand until the bubbles dissipate slightly.
With the mixer on low, pour the sugar syrup into the softened gelatin in a thin stream down the side of the bowl. Gradually increase the mixer speed to high and beat until the marshmallow forms a very thick ribbon when the whisk is lifted (the marshmallow will still be slightly warm), about 5 minutes.
Scrape the marshmallow into the prepared pan (it will be very sticky) and use wet fingertips to spread it evenly; smooth the top with a wet offset spatula. Dust the remaining 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar over the top of the marshmallows, then cover the pan with plastic wrap, being careful not to let the plastic wrap touch the marshmallow as they will stick together. Set the marshmallow aside to firm up, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Once the marshmallows are firm, use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut out 12 marshmallow circles—you will need to cut the marshmallows very close together so there are very few scraps. Dust the marshmallows with additional confectioners' sugar to prevent sticking DO AHEAD: Marshmallows can be stored, layered between sheets of wax or parchment paper, in an airtight container in a dry place at cool room temperature, for 1 week.
Make the graham crackers:

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and a second rack in the lower third then preheat to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, pastry flour, wheat germ, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the cane syrup and honey and beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixer bowl then reduce the mixer speed to medium-low, add the flour mixture, and blend just until no streaks of flour remain, 1 to 2 minutes—the mixture will be a little crumbly.
Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Place 1 half on a large sheet of parchment paper then cover with a second large piece of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough, between the sheets of parchment paper, to a 1/8-inch thickness. Remove the top layer of parchment and use a 2 1/2 to 2 3/4-inch round cookie cutter to press as many circles into the dough as possible. Use a small offset spatula to transfer the graham crackers to a large rimmed baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between them then re-roll and cut any scraps of dough to make more circles. Repeat this process with the remaining portion of dough.
Bake the graham crackers, switching the baking pans between the upper and lower racks and rotating the pans about halfway through baking, until the graham crackers are firm around the edges and golden, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer the graham crackers to a wire rack to let cool completely. DO AHEAD:Graham crackers can be baked ahead and kept, stored in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 1 week.

Melt the chocolate and assemble the moonpies: 

Sandwich 2 graham crackers around 1 marshmallow then repeat with the remaining graham crackers and marshmallows until you have 12 moon pie "sandwiches." (There may be a few leftover graham crackers.)
Coat a wire rack with nonstick vegetable oil spray and set it on top of a parchment paper– lined large rimmed baking sheet.
Place about 2/3 of the chocolate in a dry metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water and stir until melted and warm, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining chocolate to the bowl and remove the bowl from the top of the pot. Let cool 5 minutes then stir until smooth. Stir in the coconut oil until incorporated thoroughly.
Hold 1 moonpie "sandwich" firmly in 1 hand and roll the sides through the melted chocolate, making sure the sides are completely coated so you don't see any marshmallow peeking through. Hold the moonpie over the bowl of chocolate and use a small spoon to pour and swirl chocolate over the top; invert onto the rack and coat the other side in chocolate. Repeat with the remaining graham cracker–marshmallow "sandwiches." Transfer the chocolate-dipped moonpies to a cool place to let the chocolate coating harden for 1 to 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Moonpies can be made ahead and kept, layered between sheets of parchment paper in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 5 days.


   Christmas is a time of presents, anticipation, excitement and goodwill virtually anywhere in the world. In different parts of the world, however, the specific traditions used to celebrate Christmas can vary widely.
United States
Here in America, a typical tradition at Christmas time is to leave a tray of cookies and a cup of milk out for jolly old Santa Claus. Santa makes his list of the boys and girls that have been either naughty or nice, and comes to their home on the night before Christmas. Santa will leave the good children a gift made by the elves at the North Pole, and he will leave the naughty children nothing but coal in their Christmas stockings.
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During Christmas time in Caracas, Venezuela, from December 16 to December 24, the streets are closed for the roller skating mass. Yes, that is exactly what it sounds like: a mass of people roller skating together through town. Frustrating for those trying to make their way through traffic around the streets that are closed for the holiday tradition? Perhaps, but this is a very well-known tradition in the area, and many people love to participate in it each year.
In Australia, Christmas is hot like a summer day in the U.S. In Australia, the Christmas dinner is much like the American Thanksgiving dinner. The Australian Christmas dinner typically consists of turkey, ham, pork, plum pudding, and mince pies. Australian tradition is to have Christmas dinner on a beach in the middle of the day. Perhaps the most important part of Christmas in Australia is the “Carols by Candlelight.” This event takes place on Christmas Eve, with thousands of people gathering to light candles and sing their favorite Christmas carols.
In France, Christmas time is all about the light show. Imagine that – the nation that is home to Paris, the “City of Lights,” steals the show during the most lights-focused time of the year. Examples can be found all over the country during the Christmas season; for example, during the Fête des Lumières from December 5 to December 8, Lyon features over 70 light shows that are simply breathtaking.
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Christmas in Brazil is the most celebrated holiday in the country, since about 90 percent of the population of Brazil consider themselves to be Christians. Christmas is a big deal in Brazil! Because Brazil is in the southern hemisphere, it is summertime during the holiday season; temperatures can reach well above one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. December 24 is the day that begins the official Christmas celebrations. It starts with Christmas cooking, which traditionally includes codfish and turkey with beer or juice as a beverage. Because pine trees are rarely found in Brazil, households that have a Christmas party will often feature a fake tree with Christmas lights and decorations. There can be several families at each gathering, with over seventy people attending one Christmas party. The night often starts with Bingo, then comes the singing and eventually a “Secret Santa” exchange. Just before midnight, all the lights in the house are shut off (with the exception of the Christmas tree lights, of course) and the children lie in bed and await the arrival of Santa Claus.

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At Christmas time in Japan, people are getting ready to order buckets and buckets of fried chicken. Rather than celebrating Christmas with a ham or turkey, as is traditional in many other parts of the world, Japanese families usually celebrate the holiday by eating loads of fried chicken. Although only about one percent of the Japanese population follows the Christian religion, ads have made it a tradition anyway to eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken during Christmas. After filling up on fried chicken, it is also traditional to enjoy a heaping plate of cake for dessert.
Labefanafest Urbania
Perhaps one of the most unique ways to celebrate the Christmas season is found in Italy. In Italy, on January 5, children await the arrival of a magical figure to bring them candy and other goodies. But it is not Santa Claus they are waiting for; no, these children are waiting for a witch named La Befana. She is portrayed as coming down the chimneys of various homes and delivering gifts, all while holding a broomstick. Instead of leaving milk and cookies for jolly old Saint Nick, Italian children leave wine and crackers for this mystic witch. However, in Norway, it is said that you must hide all of the brooms in your house or the witches will steal them and ride them off into the night. Perhaps they are headed to Italy.
In Finland, the Christmas celebrations primarily extend from December 24 to December 26. Fir trees are set up in each household on Christmas Eve. Much like during Christmas in America, people in Finland bake gingerbread cookies and other yummy treats. Finnish Christmas dinner begins on the night of Christmas Eve, at the spotting of the first star in the sky – usually between five and seven o’clock.
In Mexico, Christmas is known as La Posada. It is a tradition to carry a picture of Joseph and Mary from house to house in the search of “shelter” before the birth of Jesus Christ himself. In Mexico, Santa Claus is not usually used to symbolize Christmas like he does in America. Instead, the people of Mexico choose to use the striking red flower called the poinsettia as a symbol of the season – a tradition that has begun to catch on in other parts of the world as well.
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In Germany, the Christmas celebration begins on December 6 and continues non-stop until after Christmas Day. On December 6, the baking and decorating begins. It all starts with the spiced cookies and cakes, then comes the home-made cards and gifts. One of the more well-known Christmas traditions – and one that originated here in Germany – is the creation of beautiful gingerbread houses. Christbaumgeback is the name of a German dough that can be shaped like clay before it is baked and used to decorate the Christmas tree. Although gingerbread and gingerbread houses are certainly a part of Christmas celebrations elsewhere in the world, none can match those created in Germany.

Friday, May 16, 2014


Coffee S'mores Pie recipe

This sophisticated mashup of the campfire classic uses Nutella to bind the graham cracker crust and coffee to deepen the chocolate flavor in the rich ganache filling.


Graham cracker crust:
  • 9 whole graham crackers, ground finely in a food processor
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Nutella
  • 1 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Coffee ganache:
  • 12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground coffee beans
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Special equipment:One 9" metal or glass pie dish; a kitchen torch (optional)


For graham cracker crust:
Mix graham cracker crumbs and remaining ingredients in a small bowl to blend. Press mixture onto bottom and up sides of pie dish; chill until crust is firm, about 30 minutes.
For coffee ganache:

Place chocolate and butter in a large bowl. Bring cream, coffee, and 2 tablespoons water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat; cover and let steep for 5 minutes.
Strain cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into bowl with chocolate and butter; discard coffee grounds. Stir until melted and ganache is smooth. Pour into chilled crust; smooth top. Chill until set, about 1 hour.
For meringue:

Meringue Using an electric mixer with clean, dry beaters on medium speed, beat egg whites in a medium bowl until light and frothy. Add sugar in 4 additions, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Continue beating egg whites until stiff and glossy.
Spoon meringue over coffee ganache; swirl decoratively with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Using a kitchen torch, if desired, toast meringue until golden brown in spots. DO AHEAD: Pie can be made 8 hours ahead. Keep chilled.


Mile-High Chocolate Pie recipe

To get a super-light mousse, you'll need to properly fold together the whipped cream, egg whites, and melted chocolate.


  • 1 pie crust, homemade or store-bought
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 71% cacao), chopped, plus more shaved with a vegetable peeler for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed chocolate wafer cookies (such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers), divided
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Special equipment:A 9" pie dish


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line pie dish with crust; crimp edges decoratively. Fully bake pie crust according to recipe or box instructions. Let cool completely.
Whisk egg whites and sugar in a medium heatproof bowl set over a medium saucepan of simmering water until sugar dissolves and egg whites are warm but not hot, 3–4 minutes. Remove from heat. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed until cool, tripled in volume, and stiff peaks form (the tips of the peaks won't fall over when beaters are lifted from bowl and turned upright), about 6 minutes.
Stir chopped chocolate and butter in a large bowl set over same saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth, 4–5 minutes; set aside.
Beat 2 cups cream in another medium bowl until medium peaks form (cream should be soft and pillowy), 5–6 minutes.
Gently fold egg whites into warm chocolate mixture until fully incorporated (work quickly to prevent chocolate from turning gritty). Gently fold in whipped cream just until no white streaks remain; do not overmix or mixture will deflate. Spoon 1/2 cup chocolate mousse into bottom of prepared pie crust; spread evenly over bottom of crust. Sprinkle 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons crushed chocolate wafers over mousse. Top with remaining mousse, mounding in the center to create a dome. (The point is to add height, not to spread out evenly to edges.) Chill pie.
Beat remaining 2 cups cream, crème fraîche, and salt until medium-stiff peaks form (when the beaters are lifted from the cream, the peaks will hold their shape but the tips will fall over). Top chocolate mousse with whipped-cream mixture, following the same rounded dome shape. Chill pie for at least 4 hours or, covered, for up to 3 days. (It will slice best if chilled overnight, allowing mousse to set properly.)
Garnish pie with 2 tablespoons chocolate wafers and chocolate shavings. Slice pie using a clean, dry knife; wipe between slices to ensure clean, elegant pieces.